The Susquehanna Hat Company has come a long way, both literally and figuratively, from its humble beginnings. Inspired by playing old-time, bluegrass, klezmer and other Eastern European songs, banjo-ist Adam Kobetich and accordionist Mila Ringo formed SHC to fit just such a purpose. We were soon joined by Michael Rubin on bass harmonica, thus creating the triangle of power which stands strong to this day.
Summer in Texas calls for escapes to cooler climates, and so in 2011 SHC members bid adieu and traveled far and wide across the country. Adam undertook a monumental solo bicycle tour to North Carolina, while Mila and her trusty dog drove to Washington. After a few months, upon reconvening back in Austin, both Adam and Mila were brandishing armfuls of new material; original songs about and inspired by our travels. Unwittingly we had created the cornerstone of what was to become the trademark of SHC - tales of love and lust, wanting and woe; of strange lands and mysterious folks far and away.
In 2012 SHC was joined by fiddler Austin Smith and thus became the solid thunder-bringin' quartet that it is today. With an ever-mounting repertoire of original songs, the natural next step was to record it once and for all and thus release our very first album.
We rehearsed and fine-tuned; we even made chord charts. Finally we were ready! Armed with instruments, we stepped into a lovely east Austin house with hardwood floors, where we recorded over several days with the multi-talented Jeff Luna. The result? 12 home-spun songs, recorded and mixed and then sent off to be mastered by Thomas van der Brook.
This, my dear friends, is where you come in. Our album, For Love of the River, is slated to come out in late September, but we still need help raising money for production costs. For the last three months, SHC has been paying the many bills associated with producing this CD out of our own pockets. While we have been applying our every resource and effort into making our CD, we are still $1540 short of our goal to get our music off the presses and into your hands. And so we turn to you, our friends and community, for donations to aid us in our endeavors. The $1540 we intend to raise will allow us to create and distribute 1,000 two-fold cardboard Digipaks (with two color printed disc!).
For Love of the River is not only a labor of love, it is a musical photograph. Not simply one moment frozen in time - it is a tattoo of our days and weeks spent traveling beneath the fierce blue sky, alongside roaring rivers; through mountains, deserts, forests, to the edge of the sea and back again. It is the inscription of the painstaking hours we took to compose, arrange, sing, teach, and re-learn our songs, whittling and refining them along the way. Inspired by other musicians who wrote of their travels, we seek to follow an age-old tradition while also bringing our own original, no-holds-barred, tumultous, sirenic, portentous, brazen and bizarre brand of music to the table.
Please take some time to check out our website, give us a listen, and donate if you feel so inclined. We're offering a couple of rewards such as your very own copy of For Love of the River with a $25 donation (stay tuned for others), but every little bit counts! We couldn't have come this far without the support of passionate folks like you and we appreciate anything you can share to give us a boost. Thank you so much for all of your help!
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